Bleach – 306
After Tensa Zangetsu rips out Ichigo’s hollow form from his chest, he explains that the mask his hollow form is wearing is the form he used to defeat Ulquiorra. They then merge into one and attack Ichigo together. He has trouble fighting against their combined power, but resolves the force the “Final Getsuga Tenshou” out of him to protect his friends. With his newfound willpower, he attacks viciously, but outside, Isshin is beginning to get exhausted.
In Karakura Town, Kuugo and Tatsuki encounter Aizen and Gin, and Tatsuki is trapped by their reaitsu. Don Kanonji suddenly appears and attacks Aizen, but Tatsuki tells him to leave. Kanonji refuses to run however and attacks Aizen again, only to be saved by Matsumoto. She tells Kanonji to take the girls and leave, and she stays behin. Gin takes her away to another part of town, and Matsumoto asks him why he betrayed them to work under Aizen. However Gin stabs her with her sword then leaves. Tatsuki and Kuugo continue to flee and the latter picks up a katana, but Aizen closes in on them.
As the series finally returns to the main storyline, it also loads up a lot of action, and this episode developed pretty quickly as Ichigo continues his battle for power-ups routine. The course of the fight was very predictable as usual, with Ichigo building up resolve through the need to protect his friends then suddenly becoming stronger to defeat his opponent. I think his fight really symbolizes his inner struggles and is literally a manifestation of what’s inside him. Tensa Zangetsu merging with SSJ3 Hollow Ichigo (his two most powerful abilities) was pretty cool too but his hyper aggressive behavior makes me worry what would happen if Ichigo really got killed in his inner world; I suppose his antagonistic attitude is really just for the good of Ichigo and his methods are his own way of expressing that.
As for Don Kanonji showing up to save Tatsuki and her friends, he just ended up as an annoying bitch and got some well deserved hits from Matsumoto and Tatsuki. There is a fine line between heroism and idiocy. Speaking of Matsumoto, she finally gets to meet Gin again but unfortunately gets taken out immediately. However their interaction did reveal some friction between Aizen and Gin, and the preview gives some bit hints at what is going to happen next. While this episode wasn’t exactly terrible, the fact that the manga material wasn’t too good is making me more apathetic towards the anime.